Report: Trump Wants To Oust Mitch McConnell, Republicans Not Cooperating

Former President Trump has reportedly held conversations with allies in the Senate about ousting Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Trump has had simmering tension with McConnell ever since the Kentucky Senator attacked him for challenging the 2020 presidential election results.

The Wall Street Journal first reported on the effort to remove McConnell.

Trump, they write, has “spoken recently with senators and allies about trying to depose Mr. McConnell and whether any Republicans are interested in mounting a challenge.”

RELATED: Mitch McConnell: Get Vaccinated Or Lockdowns Are Coming Back – It’s ‘Not Complicated’

Republicans Not Interested In Joining Trump To Oust Mitch McConnell

The Journal report indicates that Republicans – even those who support the former President – have little stomach for trying to oust Mitch McConnell.

“There is little appetite among Senate Republicans for such a plan, lawmakers and aides said, but the discussions risk driving a wedge deeper between the most influential figure in the Republican Party and its highest-ranking member in elected office,” they write.

Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) said the odds weren’t in Trump’s favor regarding a move to rid the Senate of Mitch McConnell, even if it might be the best thing to do.

“I just don’t realistically see that happening,” Kennedy, a Trump supporter, said, equating the odds to that of teaching a donkey how to fly.

RELATED: Trump Calls Mitch McConnell ‘A Stupid Person’ For… Not Getting Rid Of The Filibuster?

Trump: McConnell Bad For The Republican Party

In an interview earlier this week, Trump suggested that Senate Republicans should fire Mitch McConnell themselves.

“I think Mitch McConnell has proven to be a disaster,” Trump told The Federalist. “He’s not good for the Republican Party as a leader, and I wish I wouldn’t have endorsed him.”

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“The Senate has to make a change at some point,” he added. “I don’t think it’s acceptable having him as a leader.”

This past April, McConnell was reportedly seeking a truce with the former President.

“The leader has no animosity and he’s made it very clear he wants to work with the president to get the majority back,” McConnell’s top deputy said at the time.

McConnell, following the Capitol riot, joined Democrats in calls for impeachment according to a Fox News report at the time, telling associates that the move “will help rid the Republican Party of Trump and his movement.”

Trump ravaged the GOP leader, issuing a statement saying McConnell is “a dour, sullen and unsmiling political hack.”

“The Republican Party can never again be respected or strong with political ‘leaders’ like Sen. Mitch McConnell at its helm,” he added.

poll almost immediately after the Capitol riot from Axios-Ipsos showed Republican voters overwhelmingly “siding with President Trump over Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — big time.”

 

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Morning Digest: Former Republican senator ejected in 2018 wave announces bid for Nevada governor

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, Carolyn Fiddler, and Matt Booker, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, David Beard, and Arjun Jaikumar.

Leading Off

NV-Gov: Dean Heller, the Nevada Republican who was ousted from the Senate during the 2018 blue wave, announced Monday that he would seek the nomination to take on Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak. The former senator used his first day on the campaign trail to tack to the right in a state that narrowly voted for both Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden, saying of Texas' infamous new abortion law, "I like what Texas did."

Heller may feel the need to cover his right flank because he faces serious opposition in next year's primary. The field includes Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo, whose jurisdiction includes over 70% of the state, and North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee, who defected from the Democratic Party earlier this year. Rep. Mark Amodei has also pledged to make his own decision in October, though the congressman sounded lukewarm about the idea last week when he expressed his trepidation about the primary becoming a "soundbite fest."

Heller, for his part, has had a very long career in Silver State politics going back to his 1990 victory for a state Assembly seat in the Carson City area and his 1994 statewide election as secretary of state. He went on to win the tight 2006 primary to represent the conservative 2nd Congressional District in the northern part of the state by defeating then-Assemblywoman Sharron Angle by all of 421 votes. The congressman would later turn down the party's attempts to recruit him to take on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in 2010, a decision that likely made it easier for Angle and her disastrous campaign to win the primary.

Campaign Action

Heller ended up in the upper chamber the next year, though, after Gov. Brian Sandoval appointed him to replace Republican John Ensign after the senator resigned following a sex scandal. The new incumbent quickly had to gear up to defend the seat against Democratic Rep. Shelley Berkley in what would be one of the most competitive Senate races of the 2012 cycle; ultimately, Heller held on 46-45 even as Barack Obama was carrying Nevada 52-46.

Silver State politicos, including Amodei, began talking as early as 2015 about the prospect of Heller running for governor three years down the line, but Heller ended up running for a second full term in the Senate instead. That decision may not have been entirely voluntary, though: Veteran Nevada journalist Jon Ralston reported in late 2016 that Heller, who showed public hostility towards Donald Trump before the election was over, was wary about his prospects in a gubernatorial primary against ultra-conservative state Attorney General Adam Laxalt.

Heller, who only acknowledged he'd voted for Trump in August of 2017, spent the 2018 cycle as the most vulnerable Senate Republican up for election, and he struggled to keep his Trump worshiping base happy while holding on to enough swing voters to survive. He found out just how tough this balancing act was in the summer of 2017 when he said he couldn't support his colleague's plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act "right now," an announcement that inspired wealthy perennial candidate Danny Tarkanian to challenge him in the primary. Heller soon went all-in for another failed scheme to scrap Obamacare, but two polls taken later in the fall showed him trailing Tarkanian for renomination.

We never got to find out how that primary would have ended, though, as Trump's forces successfully convinced Tarkanian to instead wage what turned out to be another failed House campaign. Heller's general election opponent was Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen, who ran a series of spots comparing her opponent to an inflatable tubeman as she argued that "Senator Spineless" was a politician who "bends with the political winds." Rosen also made good use of footage from the previous year of Trump threatening Heller's political future if he didn't fall into line on healthcare, saying, "Look, he wants to remain a senator, doesn't he?"

Heller, meanwhile, campaigned as an ardent Trump ally, telling him at one rally, "​​I think everything you touch turns to gold." Trump's Midas Touch, however, soon transformed the incumbent's political career into something far less shiny: Rosen unseated Heller 50-45 as Sisolak beat Laxalt by a similar 49-45 spread. Trump later attributed Heller's defeat to him being "extraordinarily hostile" toward the GOP leader in 2016.

Laxalt announced last month that he'd campaign against Nevada's other Democratic senator, Catherine Cortez Masto, but political observers were initially skeptical that Heller would also try to avenge his 2018 loss by running for a different office. In April, GOP sources even predicted to the Las Vegas Review-Journal that they'd avoid a competitive gubernatorial primary entirely. By challenging Sisolak, though, Heller may just give his party the competitive nomination fight he managed to avoid three years ago.

Redistricting

AR Redistricting: Lawmakers on a joint Senate and House committee in Arkansas' Republican-run legislature met on Monday to begin discussing a trio of proposed congressional maps. Links to the maps can be found by clicking on the button labeled "docs" on the committee's website. The full legislature will reconvene on Sept. 29 to vote on final passage of a new map. Legislative redistricting is handled by an outside commission called the Board of Apportionment, which is also controlled by Republicans.

NM Redistricting: New Mexico's new Citizen Redistricting Committee has unveiled a raft of proposed maps for Congress, the state Senate, and the state House, with an Oct. 15 deadline to forward three maps for each chamber to legislators. The committee, though, is only advisory in nature, meaning lawmakers are free to reject its suggestions. However, those same lawmakers voted almost unanimously to create the committee earlier this year, so they may be inclined to heed its advice.

Reports earlier this year said that the legislature will convene a special session in November or December to pass new maps.

TX Redistricting: Texas lawmakers are gathering for a month-long special session to pass new maps for Congress, the legislature, and the influential state Board of Education, with Republicans enjoying virtually unfettered power to pass yet another set of extreme gerrymanders. To that end, one Republican plan for the state Senate has already surfaced, which was immediately castigated by Democrats and voting rights advocates for undermining representation for people of color, who were responsible for 95% of the state's population growth over the last decade. One preliminary analysis indicated the map would lock in a 19-12 GOP majority, with zero swing seats.

Aside from litigation, the only avenue Democrats have to prevent maps like these from becoming law would be to stage another quorum-breaking walkout, as they did over the summer when Republicans were seeking to enact new voting restrictions. That boycott, however, could not be sustained indefinitely, and so Republicans were able to pass their bill once Democrats finally returned to the state. Democrats staged a similar exodus in 2003 in an effort to block the so-called "DeLaymander," but that too failed, and there's been little talk of another such attempt. What's more, if lawmakers were somehow unable to produce new legislative maps, the process would shift to a backup commission entirely controlled by the GOP.

VA Redistricting: On Saturday, Virginia's new bipartisan redistricting commission released a pair of proposals for the state's two legislative maps, one from Democrats and one from Republicans, along with detailed supporting information (including election results) for each plan. The evenly divided panel, which held a meeting Monday to discuss the maps, must send a single proposal to the legislature by Oct. 10, with the support of at least 12 of its 16 members. If it fails to do so, or if lawmakers twice reject its maps on an up-or-down vote (no amendments are permitted, and the governor does not get a veto), then responsibility for redistricting would fall to the state's conservative-dominated Supreme Court.

Senate

AZ-Sen: State Attorney General Mark Brnovich's allies at Advancing Arizona Forward have released a GOP primary poll from OnMessage Inc. that shows him well ahead with 41%, while former Thiel Capital chief operating officer Blake Masters is a distant second with 6%. The survey was conducted weeks after a pro-Masters PAC began a seven-figure buy reminding viewers that Brnovich had defied Donald Trump by recognizing Joe Biden's victory in the state.

OH-Sen: State Sen. Matt Dolan, who is a co-owner of Cleveland's Major League Baseball team, announced Monday that he would compete in the Republican primary to succeed retiring Sen. Rob Portman. Dolan, who may have the resources to self-fund, joins a crowded field full of contenders who are each portraying themselves as the true Trump candidate, but the state senator went with a different approach by not mentioning Donald Trump at all in his launch video.

While the Columbus Dispatch writes that Dolan "played an integral role in passing a two-year spending plan dubbed the most conservative budget in legislative history," he's also been willing to stray from far-right orthodoxy. The paper says that Dolan voted against an anti-abortion bill, called for gun safety reforms after the 2019 mass shooting in Dayton, and came out against "legislation that would have required written consent for contact tracing during the pandemic."

Dolan also responded to the Jan. 6 attack by calling it a "failure of leadership starting with @realdonaldtrump." He continued, "Too many so called leaders perpetuated lies about the outcome of the November 2020 election. And the people who trust their leadership believes them." Dolan may have a very hard time gaining traction in today's GOP especially with that bow to reality, though packed primaries can be especially unpredictable.

It also remains to be seen whether Dolan's baseball connections will be a help or hindrance in the nomination fight: As Cleveland.com's Andrew Tobias tweeted back in January of the potential electoral effects of Dolan's status as a team co-owner, "[W]hether or not that's an advantage depends on what the front office is doing, so that's open to debate right now." At the moment, the team has won and lost a roughly equal number of games this season.

PA-Sen: Jobs for Our Future, a PAC supporting 2018 lieutenant governor nominee Jeff Bartos, has launched what Politico says is a six-figure TV and digital ad campaign based around the news that the ​​estranged wife of GOP primary rival and Army veteran Sean Parnell sought protective orders against Parnell in 2017 and 2018. The TV spot, which does not mention Bartos, aired during this weekend's Penn State football game.

Governors

AZ-Gov: Democratic state Rep. Aaron Lieberman said Monday that he was resigning from the legislature in order to focus on his campaign for governor.

NJ-Gov: Republican Jack Ciattarelli's campaign has publicized a survey from National Research that shows him trailing Democratic incumbent Phil Murphy just 45-42 ahead of the November general election; the memo says that unreleased surveys from April and June found Murphy ahead 47-30 and 49-37, respectively. Ciattarelli's allies at the Club for Growth recently released their own poll from Fabrizio Lee that gave the governor a similar 43-41 lead, but Monmouth University found the Democrat up 52-36 a little more than a month ago.

NY-Gov: Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin disclosed over the weekend that he'd been diagnosed with early stage leukemia in November but said that the disease is now in remission following successful treatment. The congressman also declared he was continuing with his campaign against Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul.

OR-Gov: Melissa Unger, the executive director of SEIU Local 503, said last week that she would not run in next year's open Democratic primary. Willamette Week also writes that two other Democrats, state Treasurer Tobias Read and New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof "are expected to enter the race in coming weeks."

PA-Gov: Guy Ciarrocchi, who recently stepped down as head of the Chester County Chamber of Business and Industry, announced Monday that he'd run in the Republican primary to succeed termed-out Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf. He joins a still-developing GOP field that includes 2018 Senate nominee Lou Barletta; Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Gale; GOP strategist Charlie Gerow; former U.S. Attorney Bill McSwain; and surgeon Nche Zama.

While Ciarrocchi's only previous stint in elected office appears to be his time as supervisor of Tredyffrin Township in the mid-2000s, which took place between his narrow 1992 and 2008 defeats for the state House, he has some notable political connections. Among other things, Ciarrocchi led George W. Bush's unsuccessful 2004 campaign to win Pennsylvania's electoral votes and served as chief of staff to then-Rep. Jim Gerlach and Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley.

Cawley, whom the Philadelphia Inquirer says that some Republicans have wanted to run here, is instead chairing Ciarrocchi's campaign; Gerlach, for his part, was mentioned as a candidate back in July, but we've heard nothing from him since.

TX-Gov: Axios reports that former Democratic Rep. Beto O'Rourke is "expected" to announced a bid for governor "later this year," according to unnamed "Texas political operatives," though a spokesman for O'Rourke told the website, "No decision has been made." In the spring, O'Rourke declined to rule out a campaign.

VA-Gov: A new poll for the Washington Post and George Mason University's Schar School, conducted by Abt Associates, finds Democrat Terry McAuliffe leading Republican Glenn Youngkin 50-47 among likely voters. It's the Post's first survey of the race, but likely every other nonpartisan poll (and, in fact, every poll except for a single Youngkin internal), it has McAuliffe ahead. It did not, however, test Virginia's two other statewide contests on the ballot this fall, for attorney general and lieutenant governor.

Meanwhile, a trauma surgeon named Joseph Sakran stars in McAuliffe's latest ad, taking Youngkin to task for opposing vaccine mandates for healthcare workers and mask requirements in schools.

House

NY-19: Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, who was the GOP's gubernatorial nominee in 2018, filed FEC paperwork last week for a potential bid against Democratic Rep. Antonio Delgado and is teasing an announcement set for Tuesday afternoon.

Attorneys General

IA-AG: Democratic incumbent Tom Miller, who is already the longest-serving state attorney general in American history, announced Saturday that he would seek an 11th term next year.

Miller was first elected to this post in 1978 on his second try, and he gave it up in 1990 to unsuccessfully compete in the primary for governor. He campaigned to return to the attorney general's office in 1994 when his successor, Bonnie Campbell, left to run for governor herself, and he won 53-45 despite the GOP wave. Miller has won each of his subsequent six races by double digits, and he didn't even face any GOP opposition in 2018.

SD-AG: Republican and Democratic leaders in the South Dakota legislature are asking their colleagues to agree to convene a special session in order to bring impeachment proceedings against state Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg, who pled guilty to misdemeanor charges last month and avoided jail time for striking and killing a man with his car last year. It would take the support of two-thirds of all lawmakers to call a special session. Ravnsborg can be impeached with a simple majority vote in the state House, but it would take a two-thirds vote in the Senate to remove him from office.

Ballot Measures

Minneapolis, MN Ballot: Mason-Dixon's new Minneapolis survey for several local news outlets found a 49-41 plurality favoring "replacing the Minneapolis Police Department with a new Department of Public Safety, which may include police officers and will focus on public health, and giving the City Council more authority over public safety." The poll did not directly ask whether respondents would support Question 2, which employs similar ballot language.

Matt Gaetz’s campaign donated $100,000 to a pro-Trump nonprofit on day of Trump’s second impeachment

It's been a while since we've heard news about Rep. Matt Gaetz, which once again raises the question: Why the hell aren't we hearing more news about Matt Gaetz? The Republican congressman is purportedly under investigation for the sex trafficking of a minor, but even that phrase hardly describes what's already publicly known about the case. The crooked Florida Republican and Gaetz pal at the center of the sex trafficking investigation is said to be cooperating with authorities; reporters have been able to contact several of the women involved and they have seemingly confirmed Gaetz's involvement; new stories of cocaine-fueled sex parties, an alleged proclivity to share nude photos of his "dates" with fellow Republicans in the Capitol—there's no end to it.

There was once a time when even half of that would have forced a congresscreature into early retirement, but that was before Republicanism decided that grifting serial rapists were presidential material. Gaetz is looking to stick it out, and has even been going on national tours with other, equally tawdry House Republicans in an effort to God-knows-what.

Fear not, however. While Matt Gaetz is sticking close to Rep. Jim Jordan, the House Republican now famous for not giving a damn whether those around him are committing sex crimes, more additions to the "Matt Gaetz is sketchy as hell" pile continue to be stacked gently on the heap. Many of them involve money, because of course they do.

That brings us to today's new news. Roger Sollenberger at the Daily Beast is reporting on a newly discovered $100,000 donation made by Matt Gaetz's campaign to a bizarre little nonprofit originally formed by pro-Trump Republican Chris Christie, the scandal-plagued former governor of New Jersey, as a Trump-boosting organization. Normally that would be standard-fare political news, but Sollenberger found a whole lot of sketchy under the surface.

Gaetz's campaign made the contribution the very day that Donald Trump's second impeachment trial got underway in the Senate. What's notable about this time period is that it was a time when Gaetz was very publicly giving Trump sloppy kisses of support after evidently failing to procure a much-desired blanket Trump pardon during Trump's last weeks in office. Apparently this behavior extended to funneling $100,000 of campaign funds into a Trump-boosting "nonprofit," but:

• The Gaetz campaign says no, actually it was to support Sarah Huckabee Sanders' bid to be Arkansas governor.

• But the nonprofit has never said it's supporting Sanders, and neither Gaetz nor his campaign have ever donated to Sanders directly.

• And nobody involved with the nonprofit (Christie is no longer associated with it) is willing to say what the group has been doing, and there's no record of them doing anything since August of 2020, and Gaetz appears to be the only politico who's given money to the group.

• And given that the group, "Right Direction America," is a 501(c)4 nonprofit that by law must devote itself primarily to social welfare causes and not politics, the inability of anyone involved to come up with a reason for the group's existence that doesn't hinge on politics makes the whole thing look a bit scammy. Or a lot scammy.

As with seemingly everything else involving Matt Gaetz, we don't know much but everything we do know points in the vague direction of somebody doing a crime. It's a bit odd that the Gaetz campaign forked over $100,000 to a pro-Trump "nonprofit" on the very day of Trump's second impeachment trial, and odder still for the campaign to be insisting that no, Actually it was meant to support a campaign the nonprofit has shown no record of supporting. It's a bit odd that this all came on the heels of frantic negotiations to try to secure a sex crimes pardon from a sex crimes president. It's a bit odd that the nonprofit in question does not seem to meaningfully exist, or do anything, or have any "social welfare" cause to it at all.

If there's one thing we've learned, however, it's that the Gaetz family has a recent history of attracting (alleged) money scammers. A Florida man was just indicted for attempting to extract $25 million from Gaetz's father in a bizarrely premised scheme promising a Trump pardon. Separately, Gaetz and his fiancee claim to have lost $155,000 after the money they wired to purchase a 41-foot yacht "went missing" due to "malicious actors."

And this isn't even the first sketchy cash transfer the Gaetz campaign itself has been involved with: Several months ago, it was discovered that among the mountains of cash the Gaetz campaign doled out in attempts to steer Gaetz through his sex-crime-premised political shipwreck was $20,000 to a Roger Stone company the Department of Justice says the Stone family has been using as a tax dodge.

In short, there's been a lot going on here. It's not out of the realm of possibility that Matt Gaetz and his campaign were simply bamboozled out of $100,000 by someone promising to deliver a new boat with a Roger Stone-delivered presidential pardon stapled to the hull, or were trying to get their hands on $100,000 of Sarah Sanders-produced t-shirts with secret presidential pardons stitched into their laundry tags. You really can't go wrong assuming that the real explanation will be wackier than it first appears, when any new Gaetz story appears. The guy's a walking scandal magnet.

Anyhoo, there you go. There's your new Matt Gaetz news. Do you regret knowing it? Yeah. Yeah, so do I. Federal agents could do us all a nice favor here and get on with indicting Gaetz for, honestly, take your pick, but it appears the Gaetz case has gone into the same unseen wormhole every last Trump investigation went into during his tenure. It might pop back up eventually, somewhere in the vicinity of Alpha Centauri.

Morning Digest: Election conspiracy theorist picks up Trump backing for Michigan attorney general

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, Carolyn Fiddler, and Matt Booker, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, David Beard, and Arjun Jaikumar.

Leading Off

MI-AG: The Michigan GOP establishment got some very bad news Thursday when Donald Trump endorsed Matthew DePerno, an attorney who has made a name for himself spreading lies about the 2020 election, in the campaign to take on Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel. The move came a week after Trump backed another election denier, Kristina Karamo, in her quest to face Democratic Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. Both parties pick their nominees for both offices at party conventions rather than through traditional primaries, and the GOP's event will take place in April.

Trump's endorsement in the attorney general race came about a month after another Republican, state Rep. Ryan Berman, announced his bid. The politician the party establishment reportedly has its eye on, though, is former state House Speaker Tom Leonard, who lost to Nessel 49-46 in 2018. The Detroit News writes that plenty of Republicans anticipated that their last nominee would run again and enter the convention as the favorite; it remains to be seen, however, if Leonard will get cold feet now that Trump has endorsed DePerno.

Plenty of major state party figures are hoping the answer is no. The paper writes that several Republicans "have privately expressed doubts that DePerno would be a viable general election candidate," and it's not hard to see why. DeParno, who describes himself as liberals' "worst nightmare," first attracted attention well before the election when he served as the attorney for ex-state Rep. Todd Courser, a Republican whose career came to a brutal end in 2015 after the public learned that he and colleague Cindy Gamrat devised a fake gay sex scandal to try to hide their real straight sex scandal.

Campaign Action

In 2017, when then-GOP Attorney General Bill Schuette was prosecuting Courser for perjury, a court hearing came to a dramatic end when the judge ejected DeParno from the courtroom for "offensive" statements. (Courser was eventually sentenced to 12 months of probation for a lesser offense after he reached a plea deal with the state.) The following year, DePerno​​ was Courser's lawyer in his defamation suit against the Detroit News. In 2019, a state judge not only dismissed that lawsuit, he also ordered Courser and DeParno to pay ​$80,000 in sanctions; the parties eventually reached a settlement requiring the pair to pay just $20,000, which was wired to the paper in May.

Trump's interest in DePerno, though, has nothing to do with his connection to one of the strangest scandals we've ever documented. The attorney stepped into the far-right spotlight after last year's election when he filed a lawsuit arguing that election fraud had taken place in Antrim County after vote totals initially showed Joe Biden leading Trump in this small conservative community. Those numbers were the result of a clerical error that was quickly corrected to reflect Trump's actual 61-37 win in the community, and a hand-count audit confirmed that the Dominion Voting Systems machines had correctly tabulated the results.

None of that stopped Antrim County, though, from becoming a prominent part of the fake Trumpian narrative about Dominion stealing the election. Indeed, Trump used his not-tweet endorsement to claim, "Dana Nessel, the Radical Left, and the RINOs are targeting Matt because he gets results and has exposed so much Voter Fraud in Antrim County, and many more places, in the 2020 Election."

But DeParno, who became a frequent conservative media guest, has had a tougher time winning over courts and even fellow Michigan Republicans. The attorney used his Antrim County lawsuit to argue there was a "strong presumption of ballot stuffing," but a judge dismissed it in May.

The GOP-led state Senate Oversight Committee even singled DeParno out in its report on the 2020 election, saying, "The committee closely followed Mr. DePerno's efforts and can confidently conclude they are demonstrably false and based on misleading information and illogical conclusions." The committee further recommended that Nessel investigate people who circulated false claims about the election results "to raise money or publicity for their own ends," an idea the incumbent said she'd act on.

DeParno himself has also been more than willing to pick fights with the GOP legislature. Last month, he told a party gathering, "What I've learned in the past six months is we elected people to Lansing who do not have courage. And that needs to stop." He also volunteered that just three state representatives had met with him about his Antrim County conspiracy theories.

Redistricting

AK Redistricting: Alaska's Redistricting Board recently released two draft proposals for the state's legislature, with plans to take more feedback from the public before settling on a single plan. In Alaska, state Senate districts (which are lettered) are made up of two state House districts (which are designated by number), a practice known as "nesting." The order is sequential, so House Districts 1 and 2 make up Senate District A, HD 3 and 4 make up SD B, and so forth.

Alaska's five-member board, which is made up of three Republicans and two independents, has final say over the maps; the legislature and governor are not involved, though any disputes over new lines would ultimately go before the state Supreme Court. The state only has sufficient population for a single congressional district, so federal redistricting is not at issue.

ID Redistricting: Idaho's bipartisan redistricting commission recently introduced a pair of proposals for the state's congressional map as well as a plan for the legislature. (Idaho uses the same districts for both the state House and state Senate, with each district electing two representatives and one senator.) Though Idaho is as red as a state can be, its equally divided commission was established several decades ago by an amendment to the constitution, and efforts to undermine it by Republican lawmakers have failed. As a result, the panel's members are likely to reach a compromise, as they did following the 2010 census, though the maps could wind up in court if commissioners fail to come to an agreement.

ME Redistricting: Maine's Apportionment Commission, which is made up of 10 legislators and five political appointees, has released first drafts of maps for Congress and state Senate. Maps for the state House "will be posted at a later date," according to the commission, which faces a Sept. 27 due date set by the state Supreme Court. Approval for any new districting plans requires a two-thirds supermajority vote by the full legislature, which has 10 days to act after the commission's deadline. If lawmakers fail to reach a consensus, the high court would take over the redistricting process.

MI Redistricting: Michigan's new independent redistricting commission has released its first draft congressional map, but as Bridge Michigan reporter Jonathan Oosting notes, "It's going to change, perhaps a lot, especially because it doesn't appear to create two required minority-majority districts, as required." Meanwhile, GOP operative Jeff Timmer, who helped draw the state's last set of maps but has since criticized his own work, slammed the proposal, saying, "I wouldn't have dared make public something this gerrymandered. I know, because I drew maps this gerrymandered and we buried them in a drawer."

The commission has not yet released complete plans for the state House and Senate, but an Excel file on the commission's site includes links to a variety of partial maps. The panel was supposed to publish maps for all three sets of districts by Friday under a deadline in the state constitution but acknowledged it would not meet this timetable due to the months-long delay in receiving necessary data from the Census Bureau.

NE Redistricting: A Democratic-led filibuster has blocked a Republican redistricting plan that would have made Nebraska’s only competitive congressional district considerably redder, prompting both sides to say they would begin negotiations anew on Monday. On a party-line vote on Thursday, a committee in the unicameral legislature had advanced the proposed map, which would have split Omaha's Douglas County, currently located entirely within the 2nd District, and placed half of it in the solidly Republican 1st District.

However, all 16 of the chamber’s 17 Democrats were joined by one Republican senator to filibuster the plan, and two other Republicans voted “present.” (The final Democrat was excused from attendance.) As a result, GOP leaders could only muster 29 votes to cut off debate, four short of the 33 required. If the parties can’t reach a compromise on a new map, redistricting would wind up in the courts.

The stakes here are higher than usual because Nebraska, along with Maine, is one of just two states that awards Electoral College votes to the winner of each congressional district. Joe Biden carried the 2nd District last year, as did Barack Obama in 2008. However, Republican Rep. Don Bacon won re-election in 2020 despite Biden's performance.

OR Redistricting: Democrats in Oregon's legislature released congressional and legislative plans on Thursday that they expect to vote on in a special session this coming week, but it remains to be seen whether they can actually pass them. In April, Democrats ceded their authority over redistricting by giving Republicans equal representation on the committees responsible for drawing new maps, essentially handing them veto power in exchange for a promise not to grind the legislature to a halt by once again fleeing the state, as they've done many times in recent years.

However, Democrats aren't acting as though the GOP represents a choke-point, since their congressional map is identical, and their legislative maps both very similar, to proposals they put out a couple of weeks ago. Republicans issued their own rather different proposals at the same time, but the latest Democratic maps don't seem like any attempt at a compromise.

Democrats could in fact bypass the relevant committees and directly vote on new maps before the full legislature, though that might lead to another quorum-busting GOP walkout. The signals are mixed: A spokesperson for House Speaker Tina Kotek said the speaker "is really disappointed House Republicans on the redistricting committee didn't engage more meaningfully during this process," but Kotek was the architect of the original deal to cede power over redistricting to Republicans. Kotek was pilloried on the record by high-profile Democrats for that decision, though, and she's now running for governor, so perhaps she's stiffening her spine in order to rehabilitate her partisan bona fides.

It's just as possible, of course, that Democrats are sticking to their guns now to avoid negotiating with themselves and will ultimately make concessions to the GOP once the legislative session gets underway. But if Democrats engage in hardball tactics to backtrack on Kotek's agreement, we could be headed toward another Republican-triggered meltdown.

Should lawmakers fail to pass any maps, legislative redistricting would be handled by Secretary of State Shemia Fagan, a Democrat. Congressional redistricting, however, would go to the courts.

Senate

SD-Sen: While Politico said back in March that Republican Sen. John Thune's colleagues were "certain" he'd seek a fourth term next year in this very red state, the incumbent sounded anything but sure about his own plans in an interview with CNN's Manu Raju. The senator said he would be making up his mind this fall.

Thune, who is the chamber's minority whip, acknowledged that retiring would cost him the chance to lead the caucus whenever Minority Leader Mitch McConnell eventually leaves. Still, the incumbent continued, "But there are lots of other (factors) too. ... I've been doing it for 25 years. I think you gotta get into family considerations, personal considerations." When Raju asked what was keeping Thune from making up his mind, the senator replied, "It's a six-year commitment."

Governors

CA-Gov: A UC Berkeley poll finished about a week before the Sept. 14 recall found Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom defeating four prospective GOP foes by landslide margins in hypothetical 2022 matchups. Newsom outpaced conservative radio host Larry Elder and former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer 52-30 and 49-27, respectively, and he performed slightly better against 2018 nominee John Cox and Assemblyman Kevin Kiley.

Faulconer, who spent several years as one of the GOP's few rising stars in California before bombing on Tuesday, doesn't seem deterred by all this, though. The ex-mayor indicated he was interested in another run next year in an election night speech, declaring, "I'm not one that's part of a circus. I'm the guy that comes in to end the circus." He added, "Tonight was round one; there's more to come."

But Elder, of all people, seems to have finally acknowledged how unlikely it is that he or any other California Republican can win in 2022. While the radio host sounded very likely to try again after losing on Tuesday, he said later in the week, "It's hard to see how the outcome would be any different unless I was able to raise at least as much money as Gavin Newsom has spent, but even then the thing is daunting." Elder added, though, "I may change my mind over the next coming days."

MD-Gov: VoteVets has endorsed former nonprofit head Wes Moore, an author who previously served as a paratrooper in Afghanistan, in the Democratic primary for this open seat.

Meanwhile on the GOP side, the Washington Examiner's David Drucker writes that former RNC chair Michael Steele  is "likely" to decide by early November. Steele endorsed Joe Biden last year, and Drucker relays that many of his fellow Republicans aren't sure why he's still a member of Team Red, much less a potential candidate. State party Chairman Dirk Haire, who holds the post Steele had in the early 2000s, said, "If his plan over the past couple of years was to run for governor as a Republican, he's gone about it in an odd way."

A longshot bid by Steele, though, could still have an impact on the GOP primary to succeed termed-out Republican Gov. Larry Hogan in this very blue state. Drucker writes that some Republicans trying to talk the former RNC chair out of running worry that he could take enough votes from state Commerce Secretary Kelly Schulz to hand the nomination to Del. Dan Cox, who played a role in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol by organizing a bus of people to attend the riot.

NM-Gov: 2020 GOP Senate nominee Mark Ronchetti hasn't revealed anything about his plans in the weeks since local reporter Joe Monahan said he'd challenge Democratic incumbent Michelle Lujan Grisham, but the would-be candidate's wife is a bit more vocal.

Kristy Ronchetti used a Facebook comment on Monahan's page to say, "We want to help serve the people of this state and we want to see it do better… I'm not sure it will be in a political arena or not - but it won't stop us for fighting for the people we've gotten to know, respect and heard." Kristy Ronchetti, writes Monahan, also "expressed discontent that the story was published here but notably her comment does not close the door on her husband running."

OR-Gov: The Oregon State Building and Construction Trades Council has backed state Speaker Tina Kotek in what Oregon Capitol Insider identifies as "a key labor endorsement" in the Democratic primary.

House

CA-25: 2020 Democratic nominee Christy Smith has picked up an endorsement from the California Federation of Teachers in the top-two primary to take on Republican Rep. Mike Garcia.

CO-08, CO-Sen: Former state Rep. Joe Salazar said Thursday that he wouldn't run for Congress next year, an announcement that takes him out of the running both for the not-yet-finalized 8th Congressional District and as a potential Democratic primary foe for Sen. Michael Bennet. And while state Rep. Brianna Titone hinted back in June that she was interested in seeking the 8th District, she's endorsed fellow state Rep. Yadira Caraveo instead.

Caraveo, who would be the first Latina to represent Colorado in Congress, currently is the only major Democrat running for the 8th District, but other party members are eyeing the race. State Sen. Dominick Moreno acknowledged his interest to Colorado Politics' Ernest Luning. The legislator ran for the current 7th District in 2017 after Rep. Ed Perlmutter decided to campaign for governor, but Moreno dropped out with the rest of the field after the incumbent decided to seek re-election after all. Luning also says that Adams County Commissioner Chaz Tedesco is thinking about running for the new seat as well, but there's no quote from him.

On the GOP side, Luning writes that state Sens. Kevin Priola and John Cooke are "eyeing the seat," but there's also no direct word from either of them.

FL-10: Both the International Association of Fire Fighters and its Osceola County chapter have backed state Sen. Randolph Bracy in what Florida Politics says are the first union endorsements for next year's Democratic primary for what is currently a safely blue Orlando seat.

MA-04: After an unreleased poll tested Asian American and Pacific Islander Commission chair Sam Hyun in a hypothetical Democratic primary against Rep. Jake Auchincloss, Politico spoke to Hyun and wrote that he "said he's not running for the seat right now."

OH-16: Ohio Rep. ​​Anthony Gonzalez, who was one of the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Donald Trump, announced Thursday evening that he would not seek re-election out of disgust for "​the toxic dynamics inside our own party."

Gonzalez, who also said that his family had received death threats following his January vote, further told the New York Times that he'd devote "[m]ost of my political energy" towards ensuring that Trump never returned to the White House. Trump, for his part, celebrated Gonzalez's departure by emphasizing his earlier endorsement for former White House aide Max Miller and gloating, "1 down, 9 to go!"

The current version of Ohio's 16th District, which contains the western suburbs of Cleveland and Akron, supported Trump 56-42 in 2020. The Buckeye State will lose a House seat during the upcoming round of redistricting, but it's unlikely this constituency will be the one that gets eliminated since the GOP has more or less complete control over the map making process. The Trump-backed Miller will also be hard to stop in a primary despite allegations that he physically attacked his then-girlfriend, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham, last year.

Despite the nature of Gonzalez's departure, the two-term congressman began his political career looking like a GOP rising star not long ago. Gonzalez had a well-regarded football career at the Ohio State University, and he was named an Academic All-American. After he left the NFL following his stint with the Indianapolis Colts, he went on to serve as chief operating officer for an education technology company in San Francisco.

Gonzalez moved back to Ohio before he entered the 2018 race to succeed Rep. Jim Renacci, who initially launched a campaign for governor before switching to the Senate race later in the cycle. Gonzalez's main intra-party rival was state Rep. Christina Hagan, who was a prominent Trump backer in 2016 when Ohio Gov. John Kasich was also seeking the GOP presidential nomination.

Hagan pitched herself as the true Trump believer of the race and argued that Gonzalez's Silicon Valley connections made him an insider. Gonzalez, though, enjoyed a massive financial advantage over Hagan and benefited from outside spending from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; his ties to his locally popular alma mater also probably made it tougher for his opponent to frame this as a battle between the dreaded establishment and a Trump-flavored outsider. Ultimately, Gonzalez prevailed 53-41, and his easy general election win made him the first Latino to represent Ohio in Congress.

Gonzalez loyally voted with the Trump administration during his first term and opposed impeaching him in 2019, but he changed course after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. "The President of the United States helped organize and incite a mob that attacked the United States Congress in an attempt to prevent us from completing our solemn duties as prescribed by the Constitution," the congressman said as he explained his vote for impeachment, adding, "During the attack itself, the President abandoned his post while many members asked for help, thus further endangering all present. These are fundamental threats not just to people's lives but to the very foundation of the Republic."

That vote quickly made Gonzalez radioactive with the party base and enticed Miller, who hails from a very wealthy and well-connected family, to challenge him. Gonzalez raised a serious amount of money to defend his seat, but he acknowledged Thursday, "Politically the environment is so toxic, especially in our own party right now." The outgoing congressman continued, "You can fight your butt off and win this thing, but are you really going to be happy? And the answer is, probably not."

Attorneys General

TX-AG: State Rep. Matt Krause, who is a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus, announced Thursday that he would take on scandal-ridden incumbent Ken Paxton in the GOP primary. Krause was an early supporter of Paxton's 2014 campaign, and he loudly stood up for the new attorney general after he was indicted for securities fraud the following year. (The case is still awaiting trial.) However, while Krause acknowledged that he had been close to Paxton, he argued, "I think Texas needs—and wants—an attorney general who can give his or her full focus to the job."

Paxton, who has Donald Trump's endorsement, also faces Land Commissioner George P. Bush and former state Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman for the nomination. A runoff would take place if no one secured a majority in the first round of the primary.

Secretaries of State

IA-SoS: Two Democrats recently announced bids against Republican Secretary of State Paul Pate: Clinton County Auditor Eric Van Lancker and Linn County Auditor Joel Miller. Pate won his second term in 2018 by a 53-45 margin against Democrat Deidre DeJear, who is now running for governor.

Ballot Measures

Minneapolis, MN Ballot: Police reformers scored a big legal victory Thursday when the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that this November's referendum to replace the Minneapolis Police Department with a new public safety agency would go forward. The decision overturned state Judge Jamie Anderson, who ruled days earlier that votes in this race would not be counted because the ballot measure was "vague, ambiguous and incapable of implementation."

Opponents of the ballot measure, which is listed as Question 2, also went up with what Axios reports is their first TV ad of the race. The spot features a barber store owner identified as Teto acknowledging, "Racism in policing has been around since policing began in this country." However, Teto argues that while reform is needed, "[T]o get rid of police I think would be a disaster. If we abolish the police, you know, scrap the whole system, then what?" Question 2's supporters have pushed back on the idea that the measure would eliminate the police department before a plan is put in place to replace it.

Mayors

Los Angeles, CA Mayor: City Council President Nury Martinez said Thursday that she would not run in next year's open seat race. Martinez would automatically take over as acting mayor should incumbent Eric Garcetti, who cannot run again in 2022 because of term limits, be confirmed as ambassador to India, which would make her the first woman to lead America's second-largest city. Martinez said that, while she was open to the idea of serving out the remainder of his term as interim mayor, she was "also not interested in playing political games."

Prosecutors

Los Angeles County, CA, District Attorney: Conservatives seeking to recall Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón acknowledged Thursday that they failed to collect enough signatures to force a vote, but they pledged to try again at the end of this year. Gascón was elected last year as top prosecutor of America's most populous county on a criminal justice reform platform.

The incumbent's detractors needed to turn in more than 580,000 valid signatures by Oct. 26 but the campaign acknowledged that it gathered only 200,000 before shutting down the effort; the movement also reportedly only raised just a fifth of the estimated $5 million needed to get on the ballot.

International

Canada: Contributing editor David Beard previews Monday's federal election in Canada, where polls show a close battle between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's ruling Liberal Party and their rival Conservatives, led by Erin O'Toole.

Trudeau called an early election last month in an attempt to win back a majority for his centrist Liberal Party in Parliament, which for the last two years has depended on the support of the left-wing New Democratic Party. After a month of campaigning, however, that majority is probably out of reach as the Liberals are now trying to hold off their resurgent Conservative rivals and continue as a minority government.

When the election was called, the Liberals had seen polling leads ranging from 5-15 points, which would have likely delivered them a majority government. Almost immediately after the election began, though, that lead evaporated as swing voters rebelled against what they saw as an unnecessary election during a pandemic, while Conservative-leaning voters came home.

For about two weeks, the Conservatives even led in the polls, but the numbers have since stabilized, putting the Liberals either neck-and-neck or slightly ahead. That makes another Liberal minority government the most likely outcome, particularly as the Liberals won more seats despite narrowly losing the popular vote 34-33 in 2019, though a Liberal majority or a Conservative minority are still real possibilities.

Beard runs through what each of the six major parties competing in Monday's election are now hoping to accomplish as the campaign winds to a close and also offers a guide on how to follow the returns on election night.

We'll be liveblogging the results starting at 7 PM ET on Monday night at Daily Kos Elections, when the first polls close in eastern Canada. And with the race so tight, any number of possibilities could unfold, so be sure to check back in with us for our recap once the results are settled.

Abbreviated Pundit Roundup: COVID is still the top story

The Economist:

Why America needs vaccine mandates

State pressure has a role in public health. Covid-19 jabs are no exception

What should not be in doubt is the danger posed by the Delta variant of covid-19. It is too infectious to be stopped simply by tracking cases. Vaccinated people, especially the elderly, gradually lose protection. If infected they can die, albeit at only one-tenth the rate of the unjabbed. Waves of infection overwhelm hospitals. Treating the unvaccinated cost $3.7bn in America, or $20,000 a patient, in August—a waste of resources.

For all these reasons, your choice over vaccination is everyone’s business. It matters that only 63% of Americans aged over 12 have had two doses of a vaccine, compared with 76% of French and 85% of Danes. Delta’s rapid spread through the population can be slowed by vaccination, sparing hospitals from overload and protecting vulnerable vaccinated people—for instance, the residents of old-people’s homes.

I kind of feel like not enough people realize we are potentially headed to a government shutdown in less than 2 weeks in the middle of a pandemic that is killing 2,000 Americans a day.

— Steven Dennis (@StevenTDennis) September 20, 2021

Margaret Sullivan/WaPo:

For one Capitol reporter, Jan. 6 was the final straw — but he had watched a crisis brew for years

“I’ve been covering the Hill for a long, long time, and the Hill right now, to an unacceptably large extent, is a real cesspool,” [Andrew] Taylor told me in an interview.

Taylor was at his desk in the Daily Press Gallery on Jan. 6 when the Senate abruptly gaveled out of session. “I jumped to check it out,” he wrote later, in a rare-for-him first-person story. “Soon word came to huddle in the chamber. ‘Lock the doors,’ gallery staff was instructed. . . . Maybe a dozen reporters and aides in the gallery and virtually the entire Senate huddled inside.”

Taylor said he never felt himself at the time to be in physical peril. It only sank in for him in the days and weeks that followed.

“I was having a hard time with it,” he told me with characteristic understatement. He became angry and agitated, and increasingly uninterested in returning to the place where he had spent decades as a particularly knowledgeable and respected reporter.

People with COVID in the U.S. are increasingly having to pay deductibles and copays for treatment…like people with cancer, diabetes, heart disease, etc.@PostRowland using @KFF data. https://t.co/OuDslk4ZdT

— Larry Levitt (@larry_levitt) September 19, 2021

AP:

Cecile Richards: Court’s Texas move could mean end of Roe

“For a lot of people, they’ve always assumed that, even if they lived in a state that passed restrictions on reproductive care, that there was always a judicial system that would be there to protect them and declare these laws unconstitutional,” Cecile Richards, former president of Planned Parenthood, told The Associated Press in an interview this week.

“That isn’t happening any more.”

To coincide with Saturday’s anniversary of the death of {Ruth Bader] Ginsburg, whom she called “a trailblazer and advocate for women everywhere,” Richards released an open letter warning that Texas’ Republican leaders “have outlined a roadmap for other Republican governors to follow suit, with the acquiescence of the Supreme Court.”

You have to really dig for it on the home page, but Fox News has interesting poll numbers on masks, mandating vaccines, etc https://t.co/7mg3IFQESo pic.twitter.com/unhsr8F1An

— Bill Grueskin (@BGrueskin) September 19, 2021

Alan Braid/WaPo:

Why I violated Texas’s extreme abortion ban

In medical school in Texas, we’d been taught that abortion was an integral part of women’s health care. When the Supreme Court issued its ruling in Roe v. Wade in 1973, recognizing abortion as a constitutional right, it enabled me to do the job I was trained to do.

...

And that is why, on the morning of Sept. 6, I provided an abortion to a woman who, though still in her first trimester, was beyond the state’s new limit. I acted because I had a duty of care to this patient, as I do for all patients, and because she has a fundamental right to receive this care.

NEW: Before the pandemic and prior to enacting a slew of far-right priorities, Greg Abbott’s overall approval rating was 59%. It’s now at a rock-bottom 45%. And his approval among independents has dropped from 53% last year to only 30%. (The Dallas Morning News/UT Tyler)

— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) September 19, 2021

Tim Miller/Bulwark:

Dark Omen in Rep. Anthony Gonzalez’s Retirement

A slap in the face for delusional Republicans who want to pretend the GOP is anything but a pro-insurrection Trump cult.

Unlike fellow Ohio congressman Jim Jordan, Gonzalez was not willing to go along with the phony election-certification charade. He eventually became one of ten Republican House members to vote for Trump’s impeachment over the actions that led to the January 6 insurrection.

The backlash from that vote is what led to the harassment and eventually tonight’s resignation.

89% of active-duty troops have received at least their first COVID vaccine dose, according to the White House. Just three weeks ago, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said that number was 76%. @playbookdc

— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) September 18, 2021

EJ Dionne/WaPo:

Anthony Gonzalez gets what Democrats need to know

For at least two more elections — next year’s midterms and the 2024 presidential contest — the central issue before voters will be whether to reward or punish the GOP’s extremism and, particularly in the case of the House Republican leadership, the party’s embrace of Trump.

This is not an abstract question. In the here and now, Republican-controlled states have embraced voter suppression and election subversion, justified in the name of doubts sown by Trump’s preposterously false claims about the 2020 election outcome.

With some honorable exceptions, Republican governors in the party’s strongholds have blocked sensible actions to prevent tens of thousands of deaths from the spread of covid-19.

Gonzalez’s decision in combination with the outcome of the California recall, the continuing deadly spread of the delta variant and the introduction of the Freedom to Vote Act in the Senate could well mark last week as a turning point in how Democrats, including Biden, approach the next phase of political combat.

Every adult diagnosed with COVID-19 in Idaho is on a universal do not resuscitate order. Every adult. Don’t try to live with the virus. Get vaccinated if you can. Wear a respirator or well fitted mask, good seal, and ventilate your workspaces/schools. https://t.co/44cpfpJjxk

— Dr Noor Bari (@NjbBari3) September 18, 2021

N.B. Added addition to above tweet: while the framework is real, it is not under universal implementation.

No, Idaho is not under a ‘universal DNR.’ Hospitals won’t just let everyone die.

A misleading claim about Idaho’s hospital crisis has gone viral

It’s also important to note that the state plan is a framework. It is meant to help hospitals make an impossible choice: decide who gets life-saving care when they don’t have enough for everyone. It is not an order for hospitals or medical workers to withhold medical care when they can adequately provide it.

Brian Manzullo/Detroit free Press:

COVID-19 vaccines: Here's how to spot misinformation on social media — and fight it

In other words, you and I have a part to play in championing the truth. And it's a good thing we have that power, because the internet today is a Wild West, where false information thrives as well as true information, and can lead to dire real-life consequences.

That especially has been true when it comes to COVID-19 vaccines. In recent months, you likely have been bombarded with inaccurate or misleading information regarding the efficacy and safety of vaccines, created by bad actors on the internet and later shared by friends, family, celebrities, influencers and politicians all over Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social platforms. This misinformation — sometimes purposefully manufactured to influence you, which is called disinformation — has played a role in tens of millions of Americans electing not to receive a vaccine.

‘Christians who are troubled by the use of a fetal cell line for the testing of the vaccines would also have to abstain from the use of Tylenol, Pepto Bismol, Ibuprofen, and other products,’ says Dallas First Baptist’s Robert Jeffress, of #COVID19 shots. https://t.co/foGDNyP7s7

— Bob Garrett (@RobertTGarrett) September 18, 2021

CNN:

Australia had 'deep and grave' concerns about French submarines' capabilities, PM says

Australia was concerned the conventional submarines it ordered from France would not meet its strategic needs before it canceled the multibillion defense deal in favor of an agreement with the United States and the United Kingdom earlier this week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Sunday.

Seeking to explain the sudden U-turn that caused huge anger in Paris, Morrison said that while he understood France's disappointment over the issue, "Australia's national interest comes first."
"It must come first and did come first and Australia's interests are best served by the trilateral partnership I've been able to form with President Biden and Prime Minister Johnson," he said at a news conference on Sunday.
The decision by Australia to ditch the French deal and attain nuclear-powered submarines through a new agreement with the United States and the United Kingdom appeared to have taken France by surprise earlier this week.

See also:

As the evidence supporting ivermectin for COVID collapses, the drugs evangelists turn increasingly to anecdote. They often mention the “Uttar Pradesh miracle” Just a thought but maybe it was the mask mandate, lockdown/curfew, & vaccinating 800m people in India (20m in one day)? pic.twitter.com/Dux6wzWeIN

— Nick Mark MD (@nickmmark) September 19, 2021